|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

School Quality

Elementary School Expert Advice from Barbara Potts

Q: We don't think we can afford a private school, but the school in my area only scored a "4" on the 2001 API Report. All of the other schools close to me are closed to students out of their area. Will my son do okay in the public school? What can I do to help him achieve and to make sure he doesn't hang out with the wrong kids? He is in a private preschool now, and will start kindergarten in September. Please help!

A: Call to arrange a visit at the school to which your son is assigned for next year. Observe the classrooms (not just kindergarten) and see what is going on there. Is there work done by the students posted on the walls? Are the children engaged in creative (not just worksheet) learning?

Talk with the principal, the school counselor, and some teachers to find out the philosophy of the school and what they are doing there on a daily basis. Although test scores give you information about a school, there is more to what goes on there every day than what the test scores show.

After your visit, write a letter to the principal. Tell him or her about your son and the kind of teacher you would like for him to have. Explain the areas in which he is strong, and request a teacher who will work with him in those areas as well as encourage him in others. Also talk about the kind of person with whom your son works best -- that may be a teacher who is kind and caring, or structured and consistent, or a combination of characteristics. Your son might end up in a wonderful classroom without your letter, but writing a letter will help make sure that that happens.

More on: Expert Advice

Barbara Potts has worked as an elementary school counselor for many years. She has a BA in psychology from Wake Forest University, and an M.Ed. in Guidance and Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!